George N. M.

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About George N. M.

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  • Location
    NE Colorado
  • Interests
    Blacksmthing, camping, hiking, historical reenactment
  1. Attached garage shop

    Some years ago a guy I know was using a propane forge in an attached garage with all the doors closed. His wife found him on the floor between the forge and the door to the outdoors. Luckily he was still alive but he had to spend a nice long time in a hyperbaric chamber to get the CO out of his system. Not a fun experience. Personally, I would vent a propane or coal forge to the outside either up through the overhead attic or out a window using 90 degree bent stove pipe. All in all, I'd prefer a detached shop but sometimes that is not an option.
  2. Bronze sword casting

    Question: It appears that the area that you are hammer hardening is pretty narrow, maybe 2-3mm. How did you decide on that width? Or are you taking several passes along the edge so that your total hardened area is wider than the area between the metal pieces in your jig? Nice set up, by the way.
  3. Liability

    Just a comment about the advisability of forming an Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a closely held corporation: In the US the advantages and disadvantages as well as cost and difficulty will vary from state to state. So, talk to a local attorney who has experience in business organizations. Not all lawyers have the right expertise. Also, the State Secretary of State's Office which is the office which usually handles business organizations and registrations may have good information on its website. Remember, what you are doing is creating a new legal person/organization to take the liability from a natural person (you). If you do this you will need to keep the two entities separate, including financially. So, if you sell something the check needs to be to X, LLC or X, Inc., NOT to you personally. You can, of course, later write a check from the LLC or Corporation to yourself for the amount of the sale. If you buy something and pay for it out of your pocket you need to have the LLC or Corporation reimburse you so that the item becomes the property of and an asset of the LLC or Corporation. It is more of a hassle but that is part of the cost you pay for liability insulation. The downside of not doing this is that if you are sued the Plaintiff can claim that the LLC or Corporation is just a sham and you are really just a sole proprietor with personal liability. The legal phrase for this is "piercing the corporate veil." So, talk to an attorney in your home state who has business organization expertise and understand the benefits and problems of the various sorts of options available to you. George N.M. Colorado Attorney Reg. #16972
  4. What did you do in the shop today?

    Another possible source of wrought iron is old farm machinery. I'd bring a battery powered grinder to do a spark test on a cloudy day or at twilight.
  5. So, a truncated cone made of pvc pipe draped in fabric. Right? What size do you hypothecate? Maybe 12-14 inches high?
  6. Two suits of Armour

    One of the ways to tell if a piece of armor is authentic or a reproduction decorator piece is how functional it is. For example, are the elbow pieces made of multiple pieces which allow for the maximum range of motion or do the just sort of look right but don't move well. Or, on the shoulder pieces (called "pauldrons") are the little domed things rivet heads which once held a leather or fabric lining or are they just dimples. If the latter, it is probably just for decor. Also, how thick the metal is is a clue. If it seems tinny or kind of thick it is probably not old. I agree that the pics posted do not depict authentic medieval or renaissance armor. The helm, in particular, does not have "the look." The vertical vision slits would not be very functional. Also, is there any sign of where straps or other means of attaching the armor to a person? If not, it is decorator.
  7. Grandpa's Arm & Hammer Anvil

    Dear Sluicebox. The reason that grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they share a common enemy. (The generation between)
  8. For demos I have sometimes used a medium sized machinist's vice attached to the heel of the anvil with a bolt up through the hardie hole to secure it. It's not ideal because it cuts down on the available work area of the anvil and eliminates using hardie tools. However, at demos I am usually making small items which do not require the whole anvil or the use of a hardie. One advantage is that the vice is secure and the mass of the anvil and stand keep it from moving. Frosty, I agree about the torcs but haven't yet come up with an alternative that I like. I often have a neck form around which I wrap with a shawl and attach both a penannular brooch and a torc to show how they are used/worn. I'm not sure I quite understand or am able to visualize your suggested display with cloth and an armature. Do you mean a T or cross shaped upright armature with cloth draped over it and items attached to the cloth? Sketch of photo? I do like having items, particularly jewelry, displayed loose so that people can easily pick an item up an examine it and/or try it on. I always have a hand mirror available so that they can see how something looks on themselves. I like the suggestion of foam rubber mats for events on asphalt or concrete. I use them on my shop floor and they are good on my knees and feet. For events where you are set up in a row of booths I like to have a sign that hangs out into the traffic flow so that people can see it as they approach. Just make sure that the bottom of the sign is at least 6 1/2 feet above the ground so that people or you do not whack their heads on it. A whacked person is seldom a buying customer. Oddly enough, I can often predict how much I will gross from the predicted attendance. At large SCA events I usually gross about $1 per attendee. So. if an event has about a 1000 people attending I will sell about $1k in goods. I'm less sure about mundane craft fairs, farmers' markets, Celtic events, etc. but I suspect that the ratio of sales to attendance is lower.
  9. Something that I have used for years for tools, coal, goods, etc. are military surplus wooden ammunition boxes. They have rope handles on the ends and once you sand off the military information stencils and slap some stain/paint on them you have very rustic/period storage boxes that are built to stack and can be used as stools, benches, or a small work surface. Also, draping your folding table or other intrusive objects such as a cooler or plastic bins with fabric is excellent camoflage.
  10. Bronze sword casting

    Yes, the ore chemistry of tin and copper is very different (IIRC, my geochemistry and ore deposition classes were about 50 years ago). I have always wondered how the idea of alloying together two very different metals, one pretty uncommon (tin deposits are less common than copper) came about.
  11. The booth is based on an illustration of a 16th century Dutch merchant's booth. It is 6'x8'. One drawback is that the canvas my late wife used to make the cover is NOT water proof. Hence, the plastic tarp visible in the next to last photo. I am planning a Mark II version which will be 8'x10' or 10'x10' since most spaces at events are 10'x10'. Also, I plan to add some sort of shade awning on the front since it offers customers shade and keeps the merchandise cool in the sun. I have found that a unique booth helps bring people in. I am wondering whether the traditional layout of a counter in front is the best design. It has been used for thousands of years but I wonder if a layout which draws potential customers into the booth may be better. Thoughts? Also, I wonder about displaying horizontally versus inclined displays or vertical displays. Things need to be accessible to the public but a simple table layout can get crowded. As you can see in the later photos I have used some inclined boards to display some of the pendants. They have the advantage of taking up less table space and displaying the translation of the inscriptions.
  12. Bronze sword casting

    Dear Andrew, I had always thought that lead was added to modern brass or bronze for ease in machining, not an issue in the ancient world. That is why many bronze alloys such as brazing rods are forgable and most brass is not. I don't think that lead would be a natural alloy in copper deposits. I'm not so sure about tin.
  13. Here are some photos of my booth and my layout. These are at Society for Creative Anachronism events. For a general public event I would probably have something of a different mix of items displayed.
  14. Bronze sword casting

    I have forged several bronze blades but this thread and a recent video I saw on You Tube show that bronze swords can be made by casting. Is there any evidence that historic bronze blades were cast or forged from a billet? Broken or intact knife or sword molds in the archeological record would indicate casting. However, a forged blade might have tougher edges. Thanks.
  15. did i invent these?

    A little more research has shown that the Romans did have actual bent cranks and had water driven machines that require a rotary, cranked motion. I have seen quern stones at Pompeii that are chest high and the hourglass shaped grinding stones that go onto them must have extended up to 7 or 8 feet high.